Someone recently sent me a version of this poem. Turns out there are several versions and several author claimants. The two most likely authors are Veronica Shoffstall or Judith Evans, though the person who sent it to me has had it for many decades, so it could be older than any of the self-professed authors. If you are interested in a discussion about who wrote this poem, you can find it here: Author of Comes the Dawn.
Comes The Dawn
After a while, you learn the subtle difference
between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that loving doesn’t mean leaning
and company isn’t security.
(Kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises.)
After a while you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes open,
with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain
and the inevitable has a way of crumbling in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns
if you stand too long in one place.
So, you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone else to bring you flowers.
And you learn you really can endure,
that you really do have worth.
You learn that with every good-bye comes the dawn.